Jose puts streak on line in Miami vs. ex-Marlin Anibal
Anibal Sanchez returns to the mound at his old home surroundings having not lost at Marlins Park since 2012. Jose Fernandez returns to the same park, his current home surroundings, having not lost here in his career.
Entering Wednesday's series finale with the Tigers, Fernandez brings a perfect 17-0 record, coupled with a 1.40 ERA, in 26 career starts at Marlins Park. The winning streak is the longest in MLB history for a pitcher to start off a career at home. That success created some surprise when the 23-year-old didn't get the Opening Day assignment, but the Marlins are monitoring Fernandez's innings this season, his second back from Tommy John surgery.
Fernandez is still considered the ace, giving Sanchez a nice test in his return home. He spent seven seasons in Miami, including the first year of this ballpark, before the Marlins traded him to the Tigers at the 2012 non-waiver Trade Deadline. Sanchez re-signed with Detroit at the end of that season, but still makes his home in South Florida.
"I have family that are going to the game," said Sanchez, who pitched at Marlins Park at the end of the 2013 season but picked up a no-decision. "That's the first team that I got when I made the big leagues. But I represent the Detroit Tigers and I'm going to do my job."
Three things to watch:
• The only Tigers position player to face Fernandez is longtime National Leaguer Justin Upton, who's 0-for-10 with seven strikeouts against the Marlins' ace.
• The Tigers are off Thursday before their home opener at Comerica Park, where the forecast for Friday calls for temperatures in the low to mid-40s. The temperature at Marlins Park for first pitch Tuesday was 77 degrees.
• Marlins first baseman Justin Bour and catcher J.T. Realmuto became regulars in 2015, but neither was on the season-opening roster. So Tuesday was a first for both, since neither had experienced Opening Day.